Raman brace and Serdar wonder goal send Schalke to the Round of 16

FC Schalke 04 reached the Round of 16 in the DFB-Pokal on Tuesday night, after defeating SSV Ulm 3-1. Benito Raman scored a brace and Suat Serdar netted from distance in the VELTINS-Arena – the venue had been switched in agreement with the fourth-tier side.

Five changes

Interim coach Huub Stevens made five alterations to the side that lost to Bielefeld on Saturday. The injured quartet of Ozan Kabak (muscular problems), Salif Sané (knee), Omar Mascarell (calf) and Nassim Boujellab (swollen mouth) were all replaced by Matija Nastasic, Timo Becker, Kilian Ludewig and Amine Harit. Steven Skrzybski also came into the team for Hamza Mendyl.

Serdar worldie

Despite being three leagues lower, Ulm didn’t come and sit back at the VELTINS-Arena. The ‘hosts’ regularly looked to attack, although they often lacked that final pass to create a clear-cut chance. Nevertheless, Ralf Fährmann was fairly busy in the first half, without ever really being troubled.

The ‘Sparrows’ were compact at the back and it took Schalke a long time to really carve out an opportunity. However, the Royal Blues suddenly took the lead from nowhere after 27 minutes. Benjamin Stambouli’s diagonal ball found Bastian Oczipka and he gave it to Suat Serdar. The Germany international then found the back of the net from long range with a slightly deflected shot. Otherwise, S04 had no other moments of real note going forwards in the first half.

Two Raman goals seal the win

Both teams had several shots at the beginning of the second period and Benito Raman took his chance to double Schalke’s lead. Amine Harit had shot from outside the box and that was parried by Ulm goalkeeper Maximilian Reule to Raman’s feet (51’).

The Belgian was successful again in front of goal 12 minutes later. Steven Skrzybski won possession in midfield and slipped Raman in behind, who beat the keeper with a low left-footed drive.

Ulm did manage to grab a consolation in the 82th minute. Malick Thiaw was adjudged to have fouled Steffen Kienle in the box, leading to the referee pointing to the spot. With no VAR in play during the second round of the DFB-Pokal, Johannes Reichert stepped up, only for his penalty to be saved by Ralf Fährmann. The save fell back to Reichert, though, and he couldn’t miss the rebound from close range.

2021 begins in Berlin

The game against Ulm was Schalke’s final of the year as they now begin the shortened winter break. 2021 will commence with an away game at Hertha BSC on Saturday, 2nd January at the Olympiastadion (18:30 CET).

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